Sacha Baron Cohen got FBI training before interviewing OJ Simpson
Some serious, if ultimately pointless, method acting Who Is America? heroics from the arch-comedian.
2018's Who Is America?, Sacha Baron Cohen's most recent attempt at outrageously blurring the lines between satire and topical happenings, provoked quite the reaction.
The very first look at the show brought a sharp critical lampooning of post-Trump America, while gun activists were duly humiliated, hardcore religious loyalties were tested and then there was the 'paedophile detector' bit.
Baron Cohen even went into uncomfortable detail on one scene that he shot but subsequently felt was "too dark and wrong" to present to the public.
Looking back on the show as part of a new roundtable chat with the Hollywood Reporter that also features Jim Carrey, Ted Danson, Don Cheadle and Henry Winkler, the London comedian has revealed that he went deep before sitting down with OJ Simpson.
Describing his attempt to get Simpson to confess, on camera, to the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, Cohen admitted that he went in with "an absurdly ambitious aim."
Clip via Mika Korhonen
"I did try," he added.
"So I trained up with an FBI interrogator. Again, this is reaching too high, but I thought, "Let me try it," because it was hidden camera — if he's ever going to admit it, it would be in a hotel room where he thinks he's going to earn a lot of money.
"So I trained with supposedly the greatest FBI interrogator, and eventually he goes, 'Who's this for?' And I go, 'It's for O.J.' And he goes, 'That's going to be tough.'"
Cohen goes on to note that the FBI "have a way" with people who are finding it hard to confess, and that he memorised a specific sequence in a bid to crack his interviewee.
Of course, that didn't happen, but fair play for trying, eh?